Preah Khan Reach youngsters stepped up to smash Wat Phnom 5-1 Saturday, while Kirivong Sok Sen Chey pipped Khemara Keila 2-0 in a forgettable fixture
Wat Phnom’s Sun Meng Huot (left) jumps to block a pass by Preah Khan Reach’s Tum Saray during their Metfone C-League match at Olympic Stadium Saturday.
Kirivong’s Seng Komsen (right) slides in to tackle Khemara Keila’s Chhun Kirivatharo during their match Saturday.
Photo by: Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)
WITH half a dozen changes from their last line-up, Preah Khan Reach (PKR) decided to give youth a chance against Wat Phnom, and it paid off after an hour of Saturday’s Metfone C-League game. Until then a draw looked on the cards, as both teams found it hard to inject any serious momentum into the game.
PKR began brightly and took a seventh minute lead when Khuon Laboravy swept in a short pass from Ande Apollo following an overlapping cross on the run by Tum Saray. The military police backed side dominated the first thirty minutes, but took their foot off the pedal and Wat Phnom eased their way back into contention.
On 33 minutes, Srey Vandeth’s cross was met by the forehead of Ry Phearoeun, and his header arrowed into the far corner for Wat Phnom’s equaliser. A minute later they were a whisker away from taking the lead when Vandeth’s diving header against the foot of the upright rebounded back into the goalkeeper’s grateful clutches.
On the hour mark, PKR set about destroying Wat Phnom’s fragile hopes of a rare league point with a 4-goal glut in the space of eight minutes. Nathan Nwaowu turned the ball over his own goal-line in attempting to clear Sok Chanrasmey’s fiercely struck cross from the bye-line to begin the mini-avalanche.
Two minutes later, centre-half Anthony Nzekwest scored his second in as many games with another unstoppable header from a corner, a move that looks like becoming a trademark for the new arrival from Nigeria.
PKR skipper Sam El Nasa held off two defenders and calmly rolled his shot past goalkeeper Sin Pisal for his team’s fourth on 65 minutes, and then laid on the perfect pass for Chea Samnang to drive the ball home from twenty yards out to seal an emphatic victory three minutes later.
This was PKR’s third win of the season and will please coach Rith Dikar who gave some of his squad players the opportunity to stake their claim, whilst Wat Phnom look destined for another season of struggle in this year’s top flight domestic campaign.
Khemara Keila 0 Kirivong S.S.C. 2
Khemara came into this Metfone C-League encounter Saturday shorn of their trio of strikers, who were all out suspended including talismanic national team skipper Kuoch Sokumpheak. Kirivong were cock-a-hoop after their 8-0 demolition of Chhma Khmao the previous week, and were aiming to continue their charge after opening up the campaign with three straight defeats.
Unfortunately, the respective coaches forgot to tell their teams to entertain the crowd at the Olympic Stadium and the first half was a distinctly barren affair. Just one real effort on goal was worthy of mention, Kirivong’s Uk Thun had a shot deflected into the side netting. Aside from that a booking and a substitution were the only other events to exercise my writing skills.
The second half perked up by comparison. Khemara had deployed lanky defender Suon Makara as their striking pivot and he flashed a shot a foot wide from distance on the hour.
Kirivong looked to substitute Him Salam to infuse some energy into their lacklustre display a few minutes later and it worked a treat. Five minutes after joining the fray, his corner was half-cleared to Bryan Edem, and his sweetly struck volley sailed into the Khemara net before keeper Ly Sokheng could react.
Barely sixty seconds later, Him Salam weaved his magic on the left wing and another substitute, In Vichheka bent down low to head in Kirivong’s second and hammer the final nail in their opponents coffin. There was no way back for Khemara after that, especially when Samut Dalin wasted their best opening by lobbing his shot over the crossbar.